Juarez police rescue dozens of Central American migrants kept in ‘inhumane’ conditions

U.S. and World

Police chief says migrants "couldn't even move" inside 240 square-foot wooden shed in neighborhood near U.S. border

JUAREZ, Mexico (Border Report) – Calls from the Guatemalan consulate and concerned citizens on Wednesday led Juarez authorities to a home where around 200 migrants were being kept with no food, water, or air conditioning.

Many of the citizens of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were being kept in a 240 square-foot wooden shed where they couldn’t even move, Juarez Public Safety Director Raul Avila said.

Juarez Police Chief Raul Avila talks about the migrant stash house. (photo Roberto Delgado)

“We arrived at a home where 140 people were being kept in inhumane conditions” in a shed, Avila told KTSM on Wednesday. “It was impossible for them to move about, so we rescued them in coordination with the National Migration Institute. […] we’re making sure they stay hydrated; we’re giving them face masks and gel sanitizer and everything we can to make sure they’re in better condition” than they were found.

Several dozen additional migrants were located in other parts of the house.

The group included 12 women — two of them pregnant — and 11 minors. Police said the smugglers who kept them there had promised to take them to the U.S. border on Thursday. The migrants pleaded with the officers not to be sent back to Central America; Juarez police were planning to hand them over to the National Migration Institute, which is Mexico’s federal immigration agency.

The home was on the Fronteriza neighborhood of northwest Juarez, where local authorities have come across migrant stash houses in the past.

“We have made arrests in the area, usually smaller groups. This is the largest group we’ve found,” Avila said, adding that no arrests were made in connection to Wednesday’s rescue.

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